Flatmate struggles are too real. Living in a flat for the first time seems like a dream, right? You fantasise about your pre-drinks sessions in your communal kitchen and the morning after where you can all laugh about the night before. You imagine the meals you’ll share together, the parties you’ll have, and how you’ll decorate it to make it feel more homely. Sure, these things happen but there’s always some bumps in the road. Here are some of the main struggles you’ll probably face in your new university flat:
1. The cleaning schedule
This is a major one! You’re happy being neat and tidy, you wash your dishes quickly and you make sure to keep the floor clean, then you walk back into the kitchen and find piles of plates in the sink and there’s three bags of rubbish in the corner. Argh! Why doesn’t anyone stick with the cleaning rota?!
2. Loving music
Spotify is your best friend and you can’t stop yourself playing your favourite tracks loud and proud! Suddenly one of your flatmates is banging at your door at two in the afternoon telling you to keep the noise down. You turn it down and they still tell you to be quieter! So much for enjoying your private space, huh?
3. Different timetables
Thank God for 12pm lectures! You get to lie in after spending all night doing coursework (or dancing in a club, same difference) and you can take the morning to ease yourself into the day. What’s that? Your flatmate has lectures at 9am? They’re going to make you super aware of it. Queue the sounds of them getting breakfast, getting ready, and letting every door slam on their way in and out. Guess it’s not the peace and quiet you hoped for!
4. Crockery thieves
Your parents made a point of taking you to Ikea and helping you pick out plates and cutlery which you know you’re going to need. You take pride in the fact you’ve been organised, and you feel just a bit more independent for it. You put these things in your designated cupboard and walk away feeling accomplished. Roll on two weeks later and what you thought was yours is now communal. Those bowls you picked out specifically for your cereal? Someone’s eaten pasta out of it and left the sauce to stick to it like glue and grow a nice sheen of mould on it too. Nightmare.
5. Food sharing
Where are the boundaries when it comes to bulk food? You all pitched in to buy the monthly shop, there’s a multi-pack of yogurt, large bars of chocolate, and bottle of soda galore! Then one day, you come home craving something sweet and find out the last yogurt has been eaten, there’s no chocolate, and the communal food has all disappeared into the stomachs of your flatmates. The struggle is real.
6. The family visits
Your flatmates will have some dirt on you, there’s no doubt there. Even if you’ve been sober throughout your stay, there’s probably something you’re pretty embarrassed about. So what happens when worlds collide and your family come to visit your flat? It’s hard not to blush around your flatmates when they have dirt on you that could ruin the impression your family have of you.
7. Bringing someone back
Nothing quite says romance like trying to sneak someone into your apartment without waking your flatmates up, and nothing ramps up the mood more than trying to be quiet during sex where the walls are thin. It’s likely that, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to be greeted by the smug faces of your flatmates as you leave your room the next morning.
8. Needing to recharge
Sometimes you need your space where you need to recharge from a hard day, but your super friendly flatmate has decided it’s time to have a good long chat and you’re too polite to get them to leave you alone. You’re craving a nap but the conversation doesn’t seem to stop. It can be hard to get breathing space in this situation.
9. Too many people round at once
One of the joys of having your flat is that you can invite your friends round to hang out. Unfortunately, your flatmate has had the same idea. The living room can seem large until you have two groups of people who don’t really know each other in the same space then it feels crammed, and hanging out in your narrow bedroom isn’t really an option.
10. Interflat romance
Bringing someone back who no one really knows is one story, but when two of your flatmates sleep with each other? That’s when drama kicks off. Even if they’re subtle about it or it was a one-off, it’s going to cause some tension in the flat which no one enjoys. This is one of the biggest flatmate struggles.
11. Who turns the light off
There’s going to be disputes in the flat, and a lot of the time, it’s over petty stuff. One of those things is who turns the light off in the kitchen. You can argue that if you’re the last one out, you should turn the light off to save your bills getting super high, but then how do you know you’re the last one out? It’s a small thing but it can snowball into a dreaded flat meeting.
12. The. Notes.
Don’t be that guy who puts passive-aggressive sticky notes everywhere. No one likes that guy. This is one of the flatmate struggles that’s too real.